PRC hearing examiner recommends dismissal of PNM rate case

Also recommends regulators reject PNM’s rooftop solar tax proposal

ALBUQUERQUE – The future of coal at the San Juan Generating Station grew cloudier today after a New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) hearing examiner recommended that the commissioners reject PNM’s proposal for a large rate hike along with plans to impose a monthly fee on residents who install rooftop solar.

Hearing examiner gives PNM's San Juan coal plan thumbs-down

ALBUQUERQUE – PNM’s plan to double down on burning coal at the San Juan Generating Station faces a new hurdle after a New Mexico Public Regulation Commission hearing examiner recommended that the commission reject PNM’s request to increase its share of coal at the plant's Unit 4.

Clean-water coalition, industry reach settlement on Dairy Rule

The average New Mexico dairy holds 2,000 cows and produces more waste daily than a small city.

On Monday, April 6, the New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission expressed support for a settlement between the Citizens Dairy Coalition (which includes the Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter), the dairy industry, the New Mexico Attorney General and the New Mexico Environment Department that retains some of the protections of our state’s current, unenforced Dairy Rule. The commission will vote on the new rule at its May meeting in Santa Fe.

Rio Grande Sierran Newsletter

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Deal shuts door on funding for Gila River alternatives

By Allyson Siwik, Chapter Executive Committee, Gila Resources Information Project/Gila Conservation Coalition

After weeks of negotiations, the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission approved in June a Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) to form the entity that will be responsible for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the billion-dollar Gila River diversion project. As of press time, nine local governments have signed the agreement in advance of the July 3 deadline.

What was gained, lost for clean water in the dairy settlement deal?

By Dan Lorimier, Chapter Conservation Coordinator

At its May 12 meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico’s Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) adopted sweeping amendments to the existing discharge rules for our more than 150 Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) dairies.

Water Sentinels testing, teaching

By Eric Patterson, Water Sentinels —Rios de Taos coordinator

Water Sentinels-Rios de Taos were joined by new members Jon Klingel, Meg Peterson, Gaea McGahee, Cliff Collins, Jo Carey, Claire Latowsky, Jim Crowl and Julia Wilson on our first monitoring of the season May 28.

A Message from Our New Chair

By David Coss, Rio Grande Chapter chair

I am honored and excited to become the chair of the Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club executive committee. I have always been enchanted by our New Mexico environment and I look forward to this opportunity to work for its protection through the Sierra Club.

Clean-water groups appeal copper ruling

By Allyson Siwik, Rio Grande Chapter Executive Committee and Director, Gila Resource Information Project

The New Mexico Attorney General and water-protection groups have filed petitions with the New Mexico Supreme Court seeking reversal of the Court of Appeals’ opinion upholding the validity of the Copper Rule, which regulates discharges from copper mines. Contrary to state law, the Copper Rule makes polluting groundwater at mine sites legal as long as contamination is contained.

Ray wins ‘Humane Citizen’ award

By Mona Blaber, chapter communications coordinator

In June, Animal Protection New Mexico announced its Milagro Awards, honoring “champions for animals.”

APNM gave its Humane Citizen Award, for efforts by a private citizen to promote the humane treatment of animals, to Rio Grande Chapter Wildlife chair Mary Katherine Ray.

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